Friday, July 30, 2010
LIVE FROM THE SUMMER TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION PRESS TOUR IN BEVERLY HILLS, CA
On the CW Panel Front:
Press Tour Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options
The second day of The 2010 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour began with Showtime at bat with a morning of panels on upcoming dark comedy The Big C, which will feature guest stars Liam Neeson and Cynthia Nixon, non-scripted The Real L World, returning Dexter, and upcoming comedy Episodes with former Friends star Matt LeBlanc. Highlights of note at the critically acclaimed, and growing pay cable network include:
-More 2010 Emmy nominations for Showtime’s original series than any other premium network, including nods to Dexter, Nurse Jackie, Toni Collette, Edie Falco, Michael C. Hall and John Lithgow.
-An increased subscriber base of over 18 million homes.
-Upcoming theatricals like Inglorious Basterds, The Hurt Locker and Twilight Saga: New Moon.
-Increased web traffic at Sho.com, including 31 million unique visitors and 25 million video viewers in 2009.
-Approximately 8 million Facebook fans, including 3 million for Dexter.
In addition, the fourth season of Californication will premiere on Monday, January 10, 2011 at 10:30 p.m. ET with guest stars Carla Gugino, Rob Lowe, Tommy Lee, Zoe Kravitz, Michael Ealy and Callie Thorne. Nurse Jackie and The United States of Tara have been renewed for third seasons, while Secret Diary of a Call Girl will conclude after the upcoming fourth season. New drama Shameless from producer John Wells, meanwhile, will open on Sunday, Jan. 9, while The Borgias, based on the infamous Italian Renaissance family, will begin next spring.
In original web online programming news, Showtime has ordered 10 episodes of a half-hour comedy called Web Theory – Web Therapy, which is being developed from Lisa Kudrow’s Web comedy series.
Mass appeal, no, but the positive news for The CW going into the 2010-11 season is its first fall line-up of all original programming (translation: no unnecessary repeat telecast of America’s Next Top Model) and a schedule focused it young female targeted demographic. According to CW President Dawn Ostroff:
“As The CW enters its fifth year, we are well positioned for growth. We’ve made some strategic moves with our returning shows, and we are introducing two new shows this season in Hellcats and Nikita. They are both on brand for us, on target for our viewers, and we are very excited about them.”
“As the first network born in the digital age, tapping into all of the different media platforms isn’t just part of our strategy, it’s actually in our DNA, influencing everything that we do,” added Ostroff. “We were the first network to use Twitter and Facebook to connect with our audience and talk about our shows. And what’s interesting is that now Facebook and Google meet with their clients and ask if they could use us as an example as to how they should be using the technology.”
While The CW has successfully attracted a young female audience, not everything is a bed of roses, so to speak. 90210 and veteran One Tree Hill are not strong enough dramas to anchor Monday and Tuesday. Returning Life Unexpected is a critic favorite still in search of an audience. And aging hours America’s Next Top Model and Smallville have lost plenty of steam over the years.
On the subject of sitcoms, or lack or it in the case of The CW, the network will debut Canadian produced 18 to Life, with back-to-back episodes beginning on August 3 from 9-10 p.m.